The Last Meeting



When I was 19 years old and in the throes of PTSD and severe depression, I met with Doug Wilson for  what would be the last time before I permanently left Christ Church.

My abuser had already been sentenced and was serving his brief stint in prison, my parents were in the middle of a messy divorce, I was living with my mother, and my life was upside down. The effects of the abuse were in full force and I had recently been prescribed antidepressants and sleeping aids to combat my extreme mood swings and emotional outbursts. I was half-heartedly studying vocal performance at the University of Idaho and was dating someone I knew from the university. He was not an outstanding fellow. My mom was worried about me, to say the least, and begged me to meet with Doug. At this time I was phasing out of attending Christ Church and was extremely reluctant to go to the meeting, but I wanted to salvage my strained relationship with my mom so I agreed to go.

When I showed up at Doug's office he asked if I'd be more comfortable having the receptionist in the room with us. I said I didn't care, so it remained just the two of us. To be honest, I wasn't even sure why I was there or what the meeting was to be about. 

After some chit-chat, he asked about my relationships and mentioned that he'd spoken with my mom and said she'd made him aware that I was dating someone from the University. I said yes, that was true. Then it got weird. He asked me if I was sexually active with the guy I was dating. The question caught me off guard - in light of everything I had been through and the lack of support I had received from the church, I didn't see how the details of my current relationship could possibly be any of his business. I hesitated to answer, so he asked again, "Are you sexually active with your boyfriend? Do you have intercourse? Oral sex? What have you done sexually with him?" 

Humiliated, I looked at the ground. "Yeah...we're sexually active."

"How often?" He pressed. 

"I dunno. Sometimes."

Doug sat with one leg crossed and intently told me I needed to stop seeing this guy, repent of my sexual sin and find the path of righteousness. He told me the people who loved me were concerned about me. Then I knew: this was some sort of intervention, a plea for me to stop dating losers and come back to the church that offered me nothing when I needed everything a church should freely give. I stared out the window, nauseated and anxious to leave. Had I any idea he was going to sit alone in a room with me and press me about the details of my sex life I would have never gone to meet with him. To be clear, I was not a healthy, emotionally stable girl. On the contrary, I was a complete mess. Scarred, traumatized, isolated, depressed, suicidal, and desperately seeking escape from the mess of my own heart and mind. 

I was lost. I didn't know where I was supposed to be but I knew the church was not my home nor was it a place I found any comfort or consolation. 

The meeting wasn't long. I left Doug's office and walked home in the rain and I knew beyond a shadow of any doubt that I could not attend Christ Church any longer. Doug didn't know what to say to the girl who had been abused and whose family was falling apart. He didn't know how to reach me or make me feel safe. The man who had been my pastor for a good portion of my life didn't know how to love me. 

Over the next several weeks I received several emails from Doug requesting that I come in to meet with he and the elders to discuss why I was no longer attending church. I didn't write back. In a final email I was informed that while I would be welcome to worship at Christ Church anytime I pleased, communion would be withheld from me until I was willing to speak with the church leaders about my reasons for leaving. 

I never responded. 







Comments

  1. You were right to leave. Hang in there.

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  2. That is how snake-like salesmen work my neighborhood too; they point down the street and say, "my good neighbor reccommended this sutff..." And then you feel obliged (a teensy bit) Because did my neighbor tell you to tell me to buy the stuff, listen to you? Or is it just that my neighbor is the hook to think they want me to buy the stuff?:

    After some chit-chat, he asked about my relationships and mentioned that HE'D SPOKEN WITH MY MOM and said she'd made him aware that I was dating someone from the University. I said yes, that was true.

    AND THEN HAVING EXACTLY ZERO TO DO WITH PAST ABUSE AND THE PASTOR'S NEED TO APOLOGIZE FOR HIS OWN SINS IN THE ABUSE DELVES INTO THE PARTICULARS OF A 19 YEAR OLD'S SEX LIFE.

    TITILLATION:

    Then it got weird. He asked me if I was sexually active with the guy I was dating. The question caught me off guard - in light of everything I had been through and the lack of support I had received from the church, I didn't see how the details of my current relationship could possibly be any of his business. I hesitated to answer, so he asked again, "Are you sexually active with your boyfriend? Do you have intercourse? Oral sex? What have you done sexually with him?"

    SOMETHING WEIRD IS GOING ON. SERIOUSLY. BECAUSE. THE PASTOR NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT ORAL SEX WHY?? OR SEX AT ALL. WHY?? THAT HAD WHAT TO DO WITH HELPING THE VICTIM HEAL?? (You do know the defense will be: "and this is why we never ever meet alone with vixen, uhh, I mean women, because they will lie and then who will be my witness?" But see, he willing met.)

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  3. I'm so sorry this is the experience you had. Jesus is kind, loving, and focuses on healing instead of hurt. God loves you!

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    1. Hi Emily, thank you for words. I appreciate your kindness.

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  4. It's called being pastoral, pinkpeppers. She says she wanted help yet wasn't willing to take it when offered to her. This was quite commendable on Wilson's part, he was primarily concerned with her spiritual health.

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    1. First of all, "anonymous," let's talk pastoral. Are you for real!? Please tell me you are not.

      Pastoral counseling means 4 or 5 years after a pedophile sexually abused Natalie at long last wanting to have a little sit down. And then at that first get together ASKING ABOUT ORAL SEX? That is not pasoral "anonymous" that is TWISTED.

      Commendable on Wilson's part? To ask about oral sex? or sex at all? And then frustrated by the lack of titilllating details threatens to bar her from church. There is something amazingly awful about this.

      And amazingly awful that you, "anonymous," think that is pastoral. Wow, WOW. God help us if that seems "commendable." No, "anonymous" that is sick.

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    2. Anonymous said: "It's called being pastoral, pinkpeppers."
      NOT. It is called invasive bullying and his interest in the details! Ohhh, very pastoral! Sexually active? How many times? Oral?
      Strikes me as perverse. My dad was a pastor his whole life and would never consider assaulting people emotionally like Wilson enjoys doing. Just very shocking. Religion with bared teeth.

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    3. I hope you are joking!

      This sounds pretty sick to me!

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    4. Actually, Douglas Wilson comes across as a sexually-twisted pervert. Most people don't want the details of intimate sexual activities. But perverts do. Wilson may say that he's doing it for counseling purposes, but he isn't. It's for his own perverse sexual gratification.

      Natalie was absolutely right to walk out of there.

      I had a religious leader ask me a similar invasive question and I flat-out lied to him. He had no reason to ask me, a 33 YO single woman, if I masturbated. OF COURSE I lied to him and told him no. Today I'd tell the guy off in no uncertain terms and tell him details of my sexual life are none.of.his.business.

      --Deana Holmes

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    5. That was an inappropriate meeting. Even if he needed to know she was sexually active (no surprise, not uncommon at all after abuse) the further fishing for details was perverse and wrong. And if she was the "temptress" he has tried to paint her, he would have been afraid to meet alone with her. Think about it. He does not show the wisdom a pastor should have or for that matter the wisdom any halfway sensible lay person should have. Who on earth ordained him????

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    6. Since has no counseling credentials and is not an ordained minister, and has no viable service to offer anyone, this makes him nothing more than a creepy old pervert in a room with a vulnerable 19 year old. He asked for those details because he got off on it. From the sound of things he wanted to get off on her. God help anyone involved with this pig.

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  5. Natalie, I am sorry. I am sorry that you have had to walk this path, where people who should have supported & comforted & loved & given grace did not; however, I am incredibly thankful for the healing and strength you seem to have now & that you are willing and able to speak up where others can't. Continuing to pray for healing and reconciliation and truth to come out, like your friend, Jen, wrote.

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    1. HI Ashleigh, thank you so much for your kind words. They truly do means so much to me.

      Sending much love to you.

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  6. They refuse communion until you explain yourself to them. Well, that truly shows Christian love. NOT. I'm so glad that you found healing somehow, somewhere despite the obvious fumblings from the "authority" who put themselves forth as the ones who SHOULD counsel you. God bless and keep you. He is doing great things through you. Thank you.

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  7. I wonder how differently it might have gone if the receptionist had been in the room. Hard to imagine it would have gotten as weird. I also wonder how many ladies take him up on the offer to have the receptionist come in.

    I would guess not many, given the natural desire for privacy. More an appearance of "due diligence" in offering something no one ever wants, and yet even the "need" to offer seems weird.

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  8. Matthew 11
    28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.


    29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,


    for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
    30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    Natalie, hope you have found the rest for your soul that God offers all of us.
    Hope you are under His yoke and that your burden is easy and light.

    It sounds like you have learned some things since the time of this "last meeting story". If ever there is a "next meeting", I hope it goes better, as it should, if everyone is under the right yoke.

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    1. Hi L6 guy, thanks for your words, and for the beautiful scripture. My burden is increasingly easy and light, and I'm eternally grateful for that.

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  9. As someone who has PTSD, I would really love to see pastors and mentors working together with counselors, doctors and mental health professionals for a more holistic approach to healing. We are each mind, body and soul and the only time we should separate them out for treatment is in the middle time after death but before resurrection.

    I had a similar experience a long time ago and I remember feeling pretty shocked (and unloved) that the person asking me those questions seemed to be more interested in my sexual sin than the fact that I was suicidal. Of course, in retrospect, I hope that they were merely unqualified to confront someone who was as mentally and emotionally broken as I was at that time.

    I still have PTSD and work with a host of people who are really helping me. I have the healthcare professional (who is a NP who is also Christian who goes to my church) who manages my physical symptoms and medications. She communicates with my counselor who is licensed to treat (listen, evaluate and then train) people who struggle as I do (don't even get me started on online degrees: I've never once had a helpful experience with those! It's like asking someone who read a book about surgery to perform sugery on a live patient!).Then there is my pastor, who preaches God's Word and can communicate my husband (who is also an active participant in my ongoing healing). There there is my pastor's wife who had PTSD, who I know I can call or text for wisdom and prayer. Then there are my friends who know what I've gone through and they are people I trust to pray for me, encourage me and not gossip about me every day. And, of course, then there are the efforts I make and ask God to bless -- I work hard to keep my mind in the Word of God, to talk to Him and listen for His voice and direction in my life.

    My point being, that my previous similar experience never happened at Christ Church or Trinity Reformed. The truth is that mental/emotional health, and sexual trauma are two subjects that the greater Christian church could really stand to grow in, and I think they will. God doesn't hang His people out to dry. The Church needs women like us, who were brought back into healthy living and God ordained healing despite the odds being against us. Next time this sort of thing happens, a wise person would call upon first-hand experience to give insight (good, bad, whatever). Now, whether a person is mature enough to ask for help is another matter entirely, but not one that keeps me up at night. We are all the body of Christ, maturing in different ways, learning new things and serving different purposes for God's glory. God's ways aren't ours, but I am learning to trust Him again.

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    1. Thank you so much for your input here, Abra. I've said it before but I'll say it again, I love you and I am deeply sorry for the pain in your past, but so thankful that you are finding healing.

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  10. Wilson is a sick pastor with unhealthy boundaries. He practices invasive, abusive tactics. That he asks about sex and then DETAILS is so far off decent behavior that it made be gag.
    What jokers, these cultic Christ Church people with their refusing communion as if they have any authority other than their bully lives pushing people into misery for the fun of it, because bullies can do what they want to do.
    And Anonymous who said: "This was quite commendable on Wilson's part, he was primarily concerned with her spiritual health."
    Fuck off. He was interested in sex, particularly details of oral sex and how much sex and what next, Wilson? What other completely private things do you want detailed for you??? Sick sick man who feels he can manhandle people, demand their private thoughts and threaten them as if he had some authority beyond being a true prick. (I don't expect you to publish this, Natalie. I know I express myself quite strongly. I support you in being free to believe or not as you please. Wilson is a poisonous bully. You are very wise to beware being around him.

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    1. Hi Brian, thanks again for weighing in here. Your words are intense, yes. But sometimes that kind of thing is needed.

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  11. I agree with pinkpeppers. What the fuck is Doug Wilson doing asking a teenage woman explicit details about her sex life? That is way beyond inappropriate. It's sexual abuse on Doug's part.

    I gagged reading this story, and I'm not joking. Can you imagine if Doug Wilson was a teacher or a school principle, or a social worker, or a sports coach, or hell even a doctor? He'd be fired and investigated, and likely charged with sex abuse just for asking those questions. That is beyond the pale.

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    1. You nailed it, Dash! If he was in any of those other professions and asked a young girl those questions he'd have his ass on the street so fast it'd make his head spin. The greatest shame in all this is that the church hasn't fired him after all this.

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  12. Good, I am glad you never replied. You don't owe him or the elders--or anyone else for that matter---anything.

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  13. I wouldn't have responded either. Of course not responding means you aren't showing the Elders of the Kirk the respect they think you owe them, and may explain why Doug Wilson refuses to apologize.

    The longer that Doug Wilson takes to apologize to you, to Katie, and to all those others who he has hurt, the worse he looks.

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  14. The whispers and hush hushes, the patting on the head and saying , "there, there, run along like a good little girl" are turning into shouts and exposure. This is like an iceberg, what is known on the surface is a small portion of the evil disguised as "righteous" hidden beneath. The mind and soul control of Wilson over his subjects baffles me. The fancy of his own self importance can clearly be described as a personality disorder, which are rarely admitted and difficult, if not impossible to treat.

    Do not expect a humbling and apology any time soon. This man is not fixable. What you and families associated in any way with Wilson can do is put distance between you.

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  15. Wilson has displayed that he was not the least bit concerned about Natalie's heart. He took no notice of the pain and brokenness brought upon her by one of his pupils. He simply did not care.

    He did care, however, about her other body parts, particularly the sexual parts. He displayed great concern as to whether or not she was using them in a manner that he deemed correct.

    In other words, Wilson is overly concerned with the outward parts and functions of a woman. But doesn't give a rip concerning the deep places of a woman's heart. He prefers to know women after the flesh and not after the spirit.

    This is the attitude that his doctrine and teachings promote towards women.

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    1. I neglected to say above, Natalie, that I appreciate you exposing this to the light. I realize that in so doing, you are exposing yourself to judgement and ridicule by those who don't get it like Anonymous above. People like Anonymous prefer the kool-aid over Living Water, the Milk of the Gospel, and even over reason and common sense..

      Their kool-aid teaches that what a woman does of her own free will is a far graver sin than any abuse perpetrated against her by any man at any age.
      A man's sin is always lesser that a woman's, even adolescent girls verses grown men who prey on them.

      The man's sin is always lesser. The only way a woman can be 'less' evil is by how she submits. An un-submissive woman is worse than a sexual predator. A woman who refuses the 'covering' of men is to be feared above all else.

      Doug is not pastoral, as Anonymous above contends. He was never able to pastor your heart as you know so well. He never valued you enough to let you out of the box he wanted to keep you in.

      I'm so very glad you broke out of that box.

      Thank you.

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    2. Hi Mara, thank you for your input and for your support. Good words...

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  16. This was not pastoral care. This was predatory narcissism. I couldn't be more appalled and outraged for you. You deserve so much better.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. I'm so grateful for your support.

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  17. I went through something similar, not as serious mind you but a similar conversation with a Vicar who I held absolutely no respect for his ministry skills.

    Same questions and because as women we're raised naturally not to be confrontational. I've spent many years wanting to let him know what I truly think of him and his family and the way he treated me.

    There are assholes around every corner, just because they "claim" to be men of God doesn't mean they are; look at what has been going on inside the catholic church for decades if not centuries./

    I'm sorry for your troubles and I'm sorrier that you had such a heartless and self absorbed Mum.

    God loves you, now you need to love you, that's all that counts!

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    1. Hi Anonymous, thank for your comment. I'm so sorry that you experienced something similar. Sending love and light your way!!

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  18. Disgusting on all counts. You were right to walk out of there and never look back. My church (that sold, promoted, and taught from Doug Wilson's books) did the same thing to me: I had been meeting the elders and pastors for months to discuss my separation from my abusive husband and wether to divorce. As soon as I told them I had decided to divorce, citing that it would be damaging for me to return to my abuser, they suddenly asked me if I was seeing someone else (using my abusers talking points). I admitted I had gotten drunk and made out with a friend a couple of times but they pressed for intimate detail: had I removed my clothes? (No) had we had any sort of sexual encounter? (No it was just making out!) the questions got weird and uncomfortable and it felt like they were trying to force a false confession out of me. Entirely inappropriate for a group of male elders. And it was terribly unfair to me that it was the first time they'd shown any real interest in my situation, despite knowing of and witnessing some of the abuses I had suffered at the hands of my husband. In a nutshell, they accused me of adultery, threatened to tell my abuser, and later, called me a "selfish, stubborn woman bent on having her own way," and sent me a letter of official disapproval of my decision to divorce and my "relationship" with this other man (Note: it was NOT a relationship! It was drunk making out - I never dated or slept with him) and they called for my repentance. My abuser still attends there and I have been vilified in his stead.

    Needless to say, I never looked back either.

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    1. Penelope, thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story here. I'm honored. I'm also SO sorry that you experienced this permeating ugliness. Sending love your way, and thanks for the support.

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  19. Natalie I'm so deeply grieved at hearing this. Doug unfortunately did have a lapse of judgement in this meeting. If he knew he was going to confront you on your sexual sin, which at this time it was, he should have had a woman do that confronting. Alone without him in the room. All too often victims of sexual abuse do go on to be promiscuous, which furthers the damage. You were a young hurting woman at 19 and you needed help but he went about it the wrong way.

    Are you a follower of Jesus Christ at this point in your life?

    These are tough situations. On the one hand atleast Doug cared for you enough to confront your sin and not just excuse it because of the former sin committed against you (sexual abuse) by Jamin. On the other hand he lacked sensitivity,compassion, and grace. He can be crass, harsh and intimidating with that big bear voice. He needs to know his limitations. He should have not attempted to deal with that situation at all. Why wasn't your mother asking you these hard questions?

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    1. Unknown,

      Since Natalie's only sin has been to talk about what happened to her, causing Doug Wilson problems because he protected the abuser rather than the abused, Doug is not showing any 'caring' for Natalie. Doug is acting in a highly toxic manner, and needs to be chastised for it.

      Unfortunately, since he is the de facto leader of the CREC churches, this won't happen.

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    2. You do realize that I was not saying Natalie had any part (sin or otherwise) in the sexual, emotional, spiritual abuse that she endured from Jamin.

      I was referring to the sin that she was committing in having sex outside of marriage with the guy she was dating at 19 (the reason her mother was concerned and asked Doug to talk to Natalie).

      Promiscuity is an effect (if that's the right word- not sure) of sexual abuse. I don't personally know how we in the church should deal with that secondary issue? I'm not a trained counselor but I would in the future like to be a true friend to someone in that situation. I'm trying to learn too. How can we love on a person who has been sexually abused? We know that the promiscuity or the consensual sexual activity after the abuse (when of a consenting age) which is not in the commitment of marriage is a sin and that it is going to harm the person spiritually as well; therefore, it would be loving to confront the person in some manner because we know God made these boundaries for our protection.

      I was giving Doug the benefit of doubt that he too did not know how to handle this particular situation described in this "last meeting".

      What DW did in writing a letter to the judge, sitting on Jamin's side in court, blaming her father, calling a meeting of all parties before they even called the police...that was all handled wrong but I can't pinpoint the exact sin in his actions so I have to conclude they were extremely poor judgements by a man who does not know how to handle sexual abuse. Since, he has been told now of the harm his actions caused I do think it is his sin of pride that is keeping him from apologizing for his not loving Natalie and her family.

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    3. I know in my own case after my rape i acted out sexually. I am sure both Natalie and myself were aware this was not God's choice for us without someone else telling us....in healing you are supposed to go for the root not the fruit...in both our cases the premarital sex was a symptom rather than a root of our issues. Thank God I fell into more capable hands than Natalie did!

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  20. Ah. Now I see what you were saying.

    I'm not sure that I would classify 'sex outside of marriage' as a sin per se, but that would depend upon whether or not you believe in the Doctrine of Original Sin. I don't, and while I'm not an advocate of sex outside of marriage, I don't pass judgement on those who are. As long as an action doesn't hurt someone else, then that action is between the people involved.

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